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Arnie Sidebottom
"Duncan Fletcher seems a guy who likes to bring new players along"
 real 14k

banner Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK
All his own hard work
Yoirkshire and England teammates Darren Gough and Ryan Sidebottom
Ryan Sidebottom (right) chats to Darren Gough
Yorkshireman Arnie Sidebottom is one of England's 'one Test wonders'.

He made a fleeting appearance on the international scene against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1985.

Arnie had night-watchman Bob Holland lbw before a damaged toe forced him out of England's attack with figures of one for 65 to his name.

Memories of that occasion are sure to come flooding back if his son Ryan makes his debut in Thursday's first Test against Pakistan at Lord's.

Arnie Sidebottom playing for England
Arnie in 1985: Less pace and less hair than his son

Sidebottom senior is understandably proud of his son's achievement in winning a place in an England squad after once being deemed too erratic for the Yorkshire Schools side.

But he is quick to point out that his own part in Ryan's success has been a minor one, with another former Yorkshire seam bowler, Steve Oldham, fulfilling the role of mentor.

"I've tried to stay in the background because it is always difficult, the sort of father and son relationship.

"The one thing Ryan dislikes more than anything is being called the son of Arnie. It's something that really gets to him. Steve Oldham's really been the driving force behind him," Sidebottom said.

The impact of being overlooked by Yorkshire Schools was almost too much to stomach for the young Ryan.


Ryan's his own man - I keep out of the way
  Arnie Sidebottom

It was then, however, that his father offered a few well-chosen words of advice.

"He came home and said 'I can't believe I haven't got in that team' - he was only 15 at the time - 'and I don't think I'm going to play again'.

"He was so disenchanted by what went on so I said - probably the only advice I've ever given him - 'Look, do you want to play sport for a living?'

"He said yes, so I said 'Well, you've got to fight back now - train, get yourself fit'.

"He went running in the woods with the dog every morning, he built a little gym in the garage and got himself fit. It's all down to him, what he has achieved."

Duncan Fletcher talks things over with Ryan Sidebottom
Ryan with England coach Duncan Fletcher

Ryan's progress in the Yorkshire first team since making his debut in 1997 has been rapid - so much so that he was picked for the England A team which toured the West Indies during the winter.

His father, however, has seen precious little of him in action despite being part of Yorkshire's coaching staff.

"I'm here, there and everywhere. I don't get to the first team too much, but he's progressed nicely."

Arnie wants his son to "play with a smile on his face" and enjoy every minute if he gets the chance to play against Pakistan.

After all, fate can sometimes turn against you - a lesson Arnie knows all too well.

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Yorkshire's Ryan Sidebottom is over the moon after being called up by England Bowled over
Sidebottom delighted by England call
See also:

14 May 01 |  Cricket
England on crest of wave
14 May 01 |  England v Pakistan
Hussain hints at batting demotion
13 May 01 |  England v Pakistan
Lord's call for uncapped duo
02 Feb 01 |  England on Tour
Sidebottom shines for England 'A'
03 Jan 01 |  England on Tour
Yorkshire talent boosts England
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